Even though she didn’t begin until the age of 40, Ermie Connor has played tennis for more than half her life. Now at the age of 82, she’s not slowing down.
Connor is part of the 6.0 women’s Super Senior team that won the USTA League Tennis National Championships in Surprise, Ariz. in mid-April. And Connor wasn’t just there to witness the win – she helped make it happen.
“It was the fourth time I had played at nationals, and obviously this one was the best,” said Connor, who was undefeated in her five matches on the weekend. “The experience was better than ever. Just a great time.”
During the matches, Connor had her fair share of unique looks, but nothing out of the ordinary. At 82, she is used to surprising opponents on the court. In a way, she even surprises herself.
“Honestly, I can’t believe I’m 82, and I think there are some other players who are surprised at my age,” she said. “I just enjoy the game. It’s a good way to meet people and exercise, and I really don’t even think about how long I can play, my age, or anything like that. I’ll just keep going until I can’t play anymore.”
It seems like that day could still be years away. By winning so many matches this season, Connor proved she belongs on the court and does more than simply hold her own. She credits four decades of play for teaching her a few tricks, and perhaps even more importantly, keeping her mind in the right place.
“I think I’ve gotten pretty good with lobs and touch shots,” she said. “I’ve also learned to hit a short shot just across the net that’s hard to get to. Basically I just see where the openings are and take advantage of whatever is going on. And I have a great time.”
Captained by Rita Ward, the York team roster includes Connor, Linda Fitz, Anna Mae Schriver, Nancy Yohn, Deb Waltimyer, Deborah Ann Mitzel, Carol Shapiro and Carol Gongola.
More info on USTA League Tennis can be found here.